Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Sundries, 61

1. AOTW: Waiting to turn right on red. Look to left (clear). Look to right (clear). Start our turn. Then ... here comes the AOTW, to our right, turning left, cutting off so much of our lane as he does so that he nearly smashes us. A Driving Note: Left turns are not done on the hypotenuse!

2. Noticed this morning: I must put my left sandal (shoe, boot) on first. Otherwise, my day is ruined.

3. Last night, we went to see the latest Mission Impossible film with Tom Cruise (whose personal life, of course, is repellent--but if you failed to patronize all productions, to read all books, etc., involving Jerks, you would, for the most part, be Home Alone). Anyway, I used to watch MI back when it was a TV show, which ran from 1966-1973. (I began teaching in 1966 and--not having met Joyce yet--was Home Alone a lot, and I watched the old black-and-white TV my parents had given me--used, with rabbit ears--and one of my shows was MI.)

I actually liked this newest film--was fooled any number of times--and one of my criteria for judging a film: Does it fool me--fairly? Cruise was good; fun to see Simon Pegg (from Shaun of the Dead, etc.); Jeremy Renner and Alec Baldwin going at it. There were some genial nods to the Bond films (a bikini-clad woman stepping out of the water), some great action scenes, and (as I said) some real surprises. Worth going to see! (Link to trailer for the film.)

4. You know you're getting old when no one notices (or says anything) about your recent haircut.

5. Senior Moment: I arrived at the health club this week, opened the back door of the car to get my gym bag and discovered that, instead, I'd brought my backpack.

6. I've been reading Rick Moody's novel The Four Fingers of Death (2010) the last week or so. I've read all of Moody's books--most of them in preparation for a review I did for the Plain Dealer of his trilogy of novellas, Right Livelihoods (2007). (The review was picked up by Newhouse News Service, and you can read it at this link.)

Anyway, when this new one came out in 2010, I put it on the shelf, thinking that if I were to review Moody again, I would wait and read it then. Five years have gone by. Time to read it. (Okay, another reason I've delayed: It's well over 700 pages--big pages.)

But now I've started it (have read about 400) and am dazzled by his virtuosity here. Stories within stories, meta-fictional monkey business, a human Mars landing, stuff goes wrong, a single astronaut returns--but not in the shape you'd think, etc. I'll give you the Full Report once I finish it.

6. As followers of this blog know, I read more than a half-dozen books at a time (not all at once!), reading a chapter or so of each in bed as I wind down from the day. Right now, I'm trying to finish novels by Smollett (The Expedition of Humphry Clinker), Eliot (Romola), Dumas (Twenty Years After), Stegner (The Big Rock Candy Mountain), Wallace (Infinite Jest), Smith (Agent 6), Johnson (Another Man's Moccasins, one of the Longmire mysteries), and a work of nonfiction: Shermer (The Moral Arc). Don't usually read from all of them each evening, but, like a good baseball manager, I try to set up a solid rotation.

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